I benefited immensely from the pig primer I experienced at The Brooklyn Kitchen last month, so decided to take another class called The Fundamentals of Basic Sauces, taught by tatted-out and paring-knife wielding, Chef Brendan McDermott of Porchetta, who is friendly, approachable and well-informed. McDermott's class was mostly a demonstration of how to make basic sauces, as he detailed the historical context and cooking methods for each concoction. While huddling around a portable stove-burner, our small group of 6 learned about Escoffier's Mother Sauce classification, from which all other sauces in Western cooking are derived. (These sauces are Bechamel, Veloute, Red, Hollandaise, and Espagnole.).
He then catalogued sauces that fall outside of stuffy Western tradition, like Asian soy-based sauces, Latin salsas, and curries. He also covered assorted topics like the usage of thickening agents (i.e. roux and corn-starch), ingredient selection, and knife skills, showing us how to expertly de-seed a scotch bonnet pepper.At the end of our time together, we had prepared a tart marinara, chicken stock whipped up from random bits of bone and onion peel, a fragrant curry sauce, a caraway tzatziki, and a lovely, red-wine mole reduction over pan-seared chicken breast. All so delightfully easy.
At the end of the class, he gave away ancho spice rubs from his company, Bad Sadie, and we all got a 10% discount for the store. So, I bought a red, Zyliss spatula and a set of tongs.
Dinner at mine tomorrow will be off the hook.
The Brooklyn Kitchen
Address: 616 Lorimer St. (corner of Skillman Ave.) Brooklyn, NY, 11211
Hours: Monday to Friday, 10AM-8PM; Saturday,10AM-8PM; Sunday, NOON-5PM